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This vegan and gluten-free Onigiri Chazuke recipe is a delicious homemade version of Japanese grilled rice ball soup flavored with furikake, chili flakes, and tamari in mushroom broth.
If you’re looking for a comforting meal that won’t weigh you down and is full of flavor, you’ve come to the right place. This Japanese Onigiri Chazuke is a delicious, filling and brothy bowl of seasoned rice in mushroom-kelp stock. It’s hearty, but light, and perfect for winter.
What is Ongiri Chazuke?
Onigiri Chazuke is a Japanese dish that consists of a large rice ball (onigiri) in a warm and flavorful broth (chazuke). The broth seeps into the sticky rice, which becomes soft and tender as you eat it. You can fill the onigiri with all sorts of fillings or leave it plain.
This is a comforting dish that’s full of good-for-you nutrients, not to mention a serious umami flavor.
Ingredients for Onigiri Chazuke
The two components of this soupy dish are the rice ball and and the broth. To make the mushroom-kelp broth, you’ll need:
- Dried shiitake mushrooms. You can find these at most well-stocked grocery stores or asian markets.
- Kombu. This is a type of kelp used to make dashi, a Japanese broth. It’s available online and at Asian markets.
- Soy sauce. You can also use tamari for gluten-free.
- Mirin. This adds a slightly tangy, acidic flavor to the broth.
- Genmaicha. This type of green tea is made with brown rice for a nutty flavor. However, you can use your favorite kind of green tea leaves to flavor the broth.
to make the fluffy rice balls for the soup, you’ll need:
- Short-grain white rice. This can be pre-cooked. Leftover rice works great!
- Furikake seasoning. A delicious seasoning made with nori, sesame, and other seasonings. Make sure yours is vegan! Or make your own.
- Ichimi. These are Japanese chili flakes.
- Tamari. OR low-sodium soy sauce.
- Coconut sugar. Regular sugar will also work. This makes a sticky and sweet glaze to flavor your onigiri.
- Ichimi togarashi. A spicy Japanese seasoning blend.
When you’re ready to serve your onigiri chazuke, place the onigiri in a serving bowl. Pour in your flavorful broth. Then add sliced scallions, nori and rice crackers on top, if you like. Enjoy!
For added flavor, you can fill your onigiri with something savory. Here are some popular rice ball filling ideas to try:
- Ume (pickled plums)
- Braised Korean Tofu
- Vegan Tofu “Spam“
- Sauteed greens, such as mustard greens or spinach
More Vegan and Gluten-Free Japanese Recipes
- Kashiwa Mochi (Japanese Rice Cake with Oak Leaf)
- Obachan’s Mushroom Kamameshi: Japanese Mixed Rice (vegan, gluten free, wfpb)
- Tsukimi Dango (vegan, gluten free)
If you make this Onigiri Chazuke, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!
Onigiri Chazuke (vegan, gluten free)
- 4-5 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 2 pieces of dashi kombu about post-it note sized
- 1-2 tsp soy sauce
- splash of mirin
- 4 cups water
- 2-3 tsp genmaicha or sencha, hojicha etc.
- 2 cups short grain white rice cooked
- 1 tablespoon furikake rice seasoning
- pinch of ichimi japanese chili flakes
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp ichimi togarashi
- finely shredded nori kizami nori
- scallions sliced
- puffed amaranth or crushed rice crackers
- pickled plum ume
- Vegan chazuke soup base
- In a small saucepan add shiitake mushrooms and kombu. Add 2 cups of water to the pot and if you have time, let sit overnight to soak in the fridge. If not, simmer over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes to create your dashi base.
- Steep genmaicha or other Japanese loose leaf tea with the remaining 2 cups of water.
- To prepare your broth, start with half of the dashi base, add an equal part of steeped tea and season with soy sauce and mirin to taste.
- Preparing your onigiri
- Spread your freshly cooked, short grain white rice on a baking sheet or fluff it in a bowl using a rice paddle. This will help cool down the rice and make it easier to handle.
- Season your rice with furikake and ichimi, to taste, then using the paddle again, mix to combine.
- To assemble, wet your hands with water, scoop about a cup of your rice mixture and then gently press into a firm ball. Use your hands to create a triangle shape.
- If desired, you can also finish your onigiri with a glaze for extra flavour. Simply add tamari, coconut sugar and ichimi togarashi into a small microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until sugar is dissolved.
- Brush one side of your onigiri with your glaze, then torch it with a blowtorch for extra char flavour. Repeat on the other side.
- Serving your onigiri chazuke
- In a small bowl, place your onigiri. Pour your broth into the bowl and garnish with shredded nori, scallions and puffed amaranth or broken up pieces of rice cracker.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.